A beloved comedic actress whose breakthrough performance in the Mary Tyler Moore Show helped convince a disgruntled Ted Knight to stick with the series despite disappointment with his character, Georgia Engel's golden comic talents are only matched by her unmistakable blonde locks and remarkable zeal for her craft. A native of Washington, D.C., who studied her craft at The University of Hawaii, Engel appeared in Milos Forman's Taking Off and Jacques Deray's The Outside Man before joining the cast of The Mary Tyler Moore Show in a one-time role that was quickly expanded when producers made note of her comic abilities. Engel remained with the series until the end of its run in 1977, during which time she was nominated for two Emmy awards for her winning performances. If subsequent appearances on such short-lived sitcoms as The Betty White Show and Goodtime Girls found Engel's career floundering somewhat in the late-'70s/early-'80s, post-Mary Tyler Moore era, a six-year stint in the popular television series Coach in the early '90s found her back in top form. Of course that was only the beginning to Engel's comeback period, and following the cancellation of Coach in 1997, her success carried over into the new millennium with a recurring role on Everybody Loves Raymond. Minor voice work in Dr. Dolittle 2 preceded a return to the big screen in the 2002 comedy The Sweetest Thing, after which she made an appearance in theater opposite I Dream of Jeannie's Barbara Eden in The Odd Couple: The Female Version.
Biography by Jason Buchanan
- Her family frequently moved around the U.S. when she was growing up, as her father served in the Coast Guard.
- Performed with the American Light Opera Company in Washington, D.C.
- Debuted on Broadway in a 1964 production of Hello, Dolly!
- Film debut was in the 1971 comedy-drama Taking Off.
- Her comedic skills turned what was supposed to be a one-time-only appearance in a 1972 episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show into a regular role.